Monday, June 11, 2012

Local Middle School Winners of National STEM Video Game Challenge Named

More Than $100,000 Awarded to Students and Educators by The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and E-Line Media

 June 11, 2012

 George Hazimanolis

More Than $100,000 Awarded to Students and Educators by
The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and E-Line Media

PITTSBURGH—WQED Pittsburgh is pleased to congratulate four Evans City Middle School student winners of The National Stem Video Game Challenge. Campbell Kriess and Drew McCarron of Cranberry Township and Justin Bicehouse and Connor Schexnaildre of Evans City won in the “Playable Game – Teams” middle school (grades 5-8) category for their game titled, Archers vs. Aliens.

In January, the 2012 Global Game Jam in Pittsburgh (GGJ) was held. To help promote participation in the National STEM Video Game Challenge, WQED Pittsburgh collaborated with Art Institute of Pittsburgh, the Pittsburgh International Game Developers Association, E-Line Media, Schell Games, and the Carnegie Mellon Entertainment Technology Center (ETC) to hold workshops in conjunction with the GGJ in which a few of the winning students participated.

The winners of the National STEM Video Game Challenge, a competition to motivate interest in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) by learning, playing and making video games, were announced May 22, 2012 at The Atlantic’s Technologies in Education Forum in Washington, DC. Twenty-eight middle school and high school students from across the U.S. were selected as winners for their original game designs. In addition, two winners were awarded in the Collegiate category and three in the Educator category.

Each winner received AMD-based laptops, game design software packages and other tools to support skill development.

Seventeen games created by individuals and teams of students, in eight subcategories, were selected as winners of the Middle School and High School categories from a group of more than 3700 entries.

To view all of the winners click here.

The National STEM Video Game Challenge is organized by the Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop and E-Line Media in partnership with sponsors the Entertainment Software Association , AMD Foundation, Microsoft’s Xbox 360 and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting/ PBS KIDS Ready To Learn Initiative.

The Joan Ganz Cooney Center at Sesame Workshop is an independent, non-profit research center that is fostering innovation in children’s learning through digital media. The Cooney Center conducts and supports research, creates educational models and interactive media properties and builds cross-sector partnerships. The Cooney Center is named for Sesame Workshop's founder, who revolutionized television with the creation of Sesame Street. Core funding is provided by the generous support of Peter G. Peterson, Genius Products, Mattel, Inc. and Sesame Workshop.

E-Line Media is a publisher of game-based learning products and services that engage educate and empower, helping to prepare youth for lives and careers in the 21st Century. E-Line works with leading foundations, academics, non-profits and government agencies to harness the power of games for learning, health, and social impact. Find out more at

WQED Pittsburgh has a proud history of honors, including 128 National and Mid-Atlantic Emmy® Awards, an Academy Award, and many, many others, including two Emmy® Awards for Station Excellence. WQED was founded in 1954 as the nation’s first community-supported broadcaster. The people of WQED create, produce and distribute quality programs, products and services to engage, inform, educate and entertain the public within their community and around the world. WQED Pittsburgh is one of the first broadcasters in the country to be fully high-definition (HD) in its studio and field production capabilities. It is the parent company of WQED-TV (PBS); WQED: The Neighborhood Channel; WQED: The Create Channel; WQED Showcase; Classical WQED-FM 89.3/Pittsburgh; Classical WQEJ-FM 89.7/Johnstown; local and national television and radio productions; WQED Interactive ( and The WQED Education Department.

PBS KIDS, the number one educational media brand for children, offers all children the opportunity to explore new ideas and new worlds through television, online and community-based programs. For more information on specific PBS KIDS programs supporting literacy, science, math and more, visit, or follow PBS KIDS on Twitter and Facebook.

About CPB
 CPB is a private, nonprofit corporation created by Congress in 1967 and is steward of the federal government’s investment in public broadcasting. It helps support the operation of more than 1,300 locally-owned and operated public television and radio stations nationwide, and is the largest single source of funding for research, technology, and program development for public radio, television and related online services.

The contents of this release were developed under a grant from the Department of Education. However, those contents do not necessarily represent the policy of the Department of Education, and you should not assume endorsement by the Federal Government.

 The project is funded by a Ready To Learn grant (PR/AWARD No. U295A100025, CFDA No. 84.295A) provided by the Department of Education to the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

 Jodi Lefkowitz
 Sesame Workshop

Brian Alspach
 E-Line Media
Posted on behalf of Dreamweaver Marketing Associates.  Joyce Kane is the owner of Cybertary Pittsburgh, a Virtual Administrative support company, providing virtual office support, personal and executive assistance, creative design services and light bookkeeping.  Cybertary works with businesses and busy individuals to help them work 'on' their business rather than 'in' their business.

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